Left Behind have been a breath of fresh air in the hardcore scene since their formation in 2013. With a pair of full lengths,—2016’s Seeing Hell and 2017’s Blessed by the Burn—Left Behind established themselves as a violent force in the heavy music scene, combining NOLA-styled sludge metal with rowdy, downtuned hardcore. Combining their music with a bleak and angry outlook, Left Behind scored tours with Knocked Loose, The Acacia Strain and Walls of Jericho, in addition to popping up on various heavy music festivals.
The West Virginia wrecking crew put an end to a two-year gap in between albums later this month with the release of their third album, No One Goes to Heaven. As the title betrays, No One Goes to Heaven doesn’t showcase a brighter side of Left Behind, but it does showcase the heaviest side of the band we’ve ever heard.
Take a listen to the already-released singles, “Outside the Body” and “Peeling Wax,” which features Kublai Khan vocalist Matt Honeycutt. Both songs contain Left Behind’s most metallic work to date, as well as the heaviest-sounding production. Lyrically, vocalist Zach Hatfield turned his vitriol toward things inside himself.
“I wrote that song thinking about how tiresome it is just to do basic tasks,” he said when “Outside the Body” was released. “Whether I’m overthinking the stress I’m going to have from work, or anxiety from talking to people, I get stuck in my head having the same thoughts over and over again. Sometimes I even zone out until someone says my name.”
“I think about things I’m ashamed of that happened years ago. Things that really shouldn’t be as big of a deal as I make them to be but it’s hard to stop thinking the way I do. I have goals I set for myself whether that’s in music or my personal life, but this feeling of dread and a lack of inspiration keeps me from achieving a lot. Might just sound like I’m lazy but there’s a lot more going on in my head than just not being motivated.”
No One Goes to Heaven hits the streets on November 15, but you can check out the already-released songs via Pure Noise’s Bandcamp.